In an effort to avoid more layoffs, newspaper chain McClatchy announced this week that it would close seven newsrooms across its network of papers.
McClatchy newsroom offices in Miami, Charlotte, Washington, D.C., Columbia, South Carolina and California newsrooms in Modesto, Merced and San Lois Obispo will close, with employees expected to continue to work from home until sometime in 2021.
With the new year, McClatchy plans to look for new offices for the staffers.
In an internal memo to employees, McClatchy stated it “envision(s) an office environment that is more up-to-date and flexible — where we can host visitors, gather and work together in a workspace that complements remote work.”
McClatchy said in a statement to Poynter, which reported the news: “The pandemic has accelerated our organization’s need and ability to work remotely. This has led us to look at new ways to find cost savings, including the exit of real-estate leases, which our Chapter 11 reorganization allows. We will exit leases in seven locations and focus our resources where it matters: on saving jobs and delivering on our mission of producing strong, independent local journalism for the communities that we serve.”
McClatchy’s move comes at a troubled time for both it and the publishing industry at large.
In February, McClatchy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it claimed to be focused on a digital future. In April, the company’s creditors offered to buy it in an attempt to start an auction among other interested buyers.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, McClatchy has both eliminated some executive posts and furloughed members of its ad staff.